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A Death in Moscow

Was the car bomb intended to send a message or to escalate the conflict?

BY PHILIP GIRALDI • UNZ REVIEW • AUGUST 30, 2022

The horrific car bombing in Moscow that killed twenty-nine year old Darya Dugina last week raises many questions about the motives of the Ukrainian regime and its supporters that sent an assassin to murder a prominent Russian civilian who has no overt role in the government of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. It should be assumed that the target of the attack was Darya’s father, the philosopher and sociologist Aleksandr Dugin, who has been predictably denigrated by western media outlets like the Washington Post, which refers to Dugin as “Putin’s brain” or “Putin’s Rasputin” while the New York Times lamely calls him a “Russian ultranationalist.”

Dugin, to be sure, is a powerful media figure well known in Europe who is a strong supporter of the Kremlin’s military initiative against Ukraine which is currently playing out. It appears that he has never even met Putin, which means that I have met Putin more than he has, let alone advised him, and he is generally viewed as a marginal figure in his own country. To be sure, he is known for his fiery rhetoric and hawkish anti-Western and anti-American stance, envisioning as he does Russia serving “as a serious bulwark against the ubiquitous spread of the Western liberal model on the planet.” President Vladimir Putin’s August 16th speech to foreign dignitaries at the Moscow Conference on International Security would seem to confirm that the Russian leader generally at least shares Dugin’s perspective. Putin said that “The situation in the world is changing dynamically and the outlines of a multipolar world order are taking shape. An increasing number of countries and peoples are choosing a path of free and sovereign development based on their own distinct identity, traditions and values.”

Dugin, like Putin, is a genuine conservative in cultural terms and would reasonably be described as a Russian nationalist, believing as he does that Russia and its traditional values should be cherished rather that cast away in pursuit of the currently fashionable globalism. He, also like Putin, is protective of the Russian Orthodox Church, which makes him an anachronism or worse from the viewpoint of the cancel culture currently rampaging in the west.

I had the privilege of participating in a conference in 2018 in the Iranian city of Mashhad with Dugin and got to know him somewhat. He is a distinguished intellectual, a prolific writer and speaker, and a true son of Holy Russia. That he looks backwards at Russian history to select the cultural trends and tendencies to inspire him should be a positive example of a possible course to pursue for the many conservatives worldwide who have been appalled at what is being done to western civilization at the hands of the wreckers who are now in control of so many nations.

The Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) has used surveillance camera footage and other resources to reconstruct what likely took place in the car bombing. First of all, the Dugins had no special security. Aleksandr Dugin led a life in the open, as did his daughter. They would both go to cultural and folk events and speak, often freely meeting with supporters, which is what they were doing on the day of the bombing as honored guests at a “Tradition” festival near Moscow. Aleksandr had no reason to believe that some government might seriously want to assassinate him, even though it is known that he was on the Ukrainian government’s notorious Myrotvorets Enemies of Ukraine “hit list” for alleged supporters of the Russian intervention, which even includes prominent antiwar “Pink Floyd” musician Roger Waters. The names on the list are blocked on the actual group website, but there are reportedly more than 200,000 entries on it, including many prominent Americans. Curiously, the Myrotvorets site has on the home page upper right-hand corner the addresses of the originators of the site, which are Langley Virginia, home of the CIA, and Warsaw Poland. Dugin was clearly wrong if he assumed the list was all just a bit of political theater.

According to the Russian police, a 42-year-old woman named Natalya Vovk, who also uses the surname Shaban, reportedly a member of the Ukrainian National Guard’s Azov Battalion, departed Ukraine on July 23rd in a vehicle with false Donbas plates, the region currently under Russian control. She drove into Russia together with her 12 year-old daughter Sophia Shaban as cover, changed the plates to those of Kremlin ally Kazakhstan, and then proceeded to rent an apartment in the building in Moscow where Darya lived. According to one report, Darya would often drive her father to meetings as he did not like to drive, but in this case, he switched to another car. Vovk, who may have had an accomplice who helped her obtain a fake Kazakh passport and may have aided in constructing the bomb, planted the device under the Dugin car and detonated it by remote control before fleeing to Estonia after again changing her car license plates to Ukrainian. It is to be presumed that Vovk was on a mission planned and authorized by Ukrainian intelligence (SBU).

No western government has denounced the assassination. The Ukrainian government has denied being behind the attack, though there have been reported celebrations in Kiev and elsewhere. Dugina was reportedly declared “liquidated” on the Myrotvorets site. The Washington Post has predictably editorialized its view that no one should believe anything that the Russians are reporting about the assassination, though one might more reasonably trust the Kremlin than the US Capital’s leading source of media disinformation. Likewise, the British media quickly jumped into the fray, suggesting that it was the Russians themselves, either a dissident group or agents sent by Putin, who did the foul deed. Even the Pope was on the receiving end after he described Darya Dugina as an “innocent victim.” Andrii Yurash, Ukraine’s ambassador to the Holy See, tweeted that the Pope’s words were “disappointing…how (is it) possible to mention one of ideologists of (Russian) imperialism as innocent victim? She was killed by Russians.” But, to be sure, unless additional information appears, there is nothing in the Russian government reconstruction of events that appears to be a fabrication as it is largely supported by surveillance camera video clips and photos of those involved.

There remain, however, two major questions that have not been answered or even addressed at this point. The first is motive and the second relates to which other countries might have been involved in the planning and execution of the bombing. And there is a back story that might contribute to a better understanding of what exactly took place and why. Dugin, for all his brilliant academic credentials and lack of any Russian government position, is regarded as actively hostile to the interests of the United States, possibly because of his support of the attack on Ukraine, and has been both sanctioned and become a person of interest for American law enforcement and intelligence agencies. Darya was also sanctioned.

By “person of interest” I mean that the national security agencies have applied their information collection resources to monitor where Dugin goes, whom he is in contact with, and to learn what are the various groups that he is involved with. That information would all by itself be suggestive in terms of the apparent plan to assassinate Dugin by car bomb, but it also fits in neatly with several other connections. First of all, the actual capabilities of the Ukrainian intelligence services are not clearly understood, but it is well known within the US intelligence community that the CIA, MI-6 and Mossad are all in Ukraine actively engaged in training and advising their local counterparts. The bombing in Moscow required considerable sophistication as it used prior intelligence, multiple license plates and presumably also identity documents when borders were crossed, something the Ukrainians acting alone might not have been able to accomplish.

So did the United States, Britain, and/or the Israelis know what their Ukrainian counterparts were planning? More than that, did they collude in the operation or provide intelligence that made it possible? NATO member Estonia’s apparent cooperation in aiding the exfiltration of Vovk rather suggests a broadly based intelligence operation. The Israelis in particular are adept at that type of cross border targeted assassination operation, having used similar tactics to kill Iranian scientists and technicians. And they might have also had a secondary motive in targeting Dugin over his criticisms of the Jewish role in the terror that followed the Bolshevik revolution as well as its enormous overrepresentation both in the current Russian oligarchy as well as in the new American and globalist elite. Interestingly, Putin has also angered the Israeli government by his criticism of the recent lethal attacks on the Palestinians and by his closure of the Jewish Agency for Israel which arranges the emigration of Jews from Russia to the Jewish state.

If foreign intelligence services were involved, that also would imply that the respective governments might have approved of the assassination attempt, which could suggest a motive beyond just warning Russia that its apologists could be killed even in Moscow at any time. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has pressured his “allies” to get more involved in the fighting in his country, beyond the provision of billions of dollars and weapons. The killing of Dugin might have been seen as a possible provocative move to encourage Moscow to over-react in response, leading to still more western involvement, perhaps to include NATO and other allied troops appearing on the battlefields to confront Putin directly. To be sure, one is not encouraged by statements coming out of the mouths of western leaders and NATO revealing that the real objective of the fighting is to weaken Russia and possibly bring about regime change, which increases the likelihood that Moscow will take a hard line in its reaction. Nor was it exactly encouraging to hear a befuddled President Joe Biden’s calling Putin a “war criminal” and Moscow’s intervention a “genocide” while also committing the US to endure whatever it takes for as long as it takes to make sure that Ukraine “wins” the war, which is a virtual promise to escalate the conflict.

It is also ironic that the US Congress is toying with the idea of declaring Russia a “state sponsor of terrorism” when it is Washington-ally Ukraine that is in fact using terror. It might seem inconceivable that anyone would plot to assassinate a prominent Russian in order to further escalate a conflict that is already edging perilously close to a nuclear exchange, but there you have it. If Zelensky and his neocon advisers set the trap to deepen the involvement of Washington in their war, Biden should have recognized the folly and backed completely out of the conflict. But there is little chance of that, unfortunately. When it comes to Russia, the hawks are both bipartisan and firmly in control.

Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation (Federal ID Number #52-1739023) that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is councilforthenationalinterest.org, address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is inform@cnionline.org.

August 30, 2022 - Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia, War Crimes | ,

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